Make a plan on how you will make this Christmas season special. As St. Francis said, “it is in giving that we receive.” Here are some ideas on different ways to give the gift of you. Some will feel their heart expand, others gain a helper’s high, others will feel a deep sense of gratitude for what they have been given and want to pass it on. People find themselves more isolated these days, and are in need of good cheer. There are many ways to provide acts of love to remind others that people care. It can be to people in your life, strangers you meet, or anonymously to those in need.
Send a card or letter.
Is there someone that has impacted your life? Or someone on your heart that you want to encourage? Take time to write down your thoughts. Being intentional and making the effort is a treasure in this texting world. Its best to live life expressing your gratitude and feelings, for we never know if we will have a later opportunity. I knew a man years ago who his way of saying goodbye was, “Remember how good you are.” It touched my heart and I think of it often.
Treat someone to a meal.
Do you have a neighbor you can count on for help? Observed a volunteer or someone in the service profession that goes above and beyond? How about knowing a single Mom who struggles to make ends meet, or a breadwinner who has had a job loss? Giving a restaurant gift card so they can treat themselves with a night off from cooking will mean a lot. It will help out a local business too!
Volunteer your time and talent.
Time is the most precious gift we can give. Find a cause that is near to your heart and find a way to volunteer. There are in person opportunities like packing meals for food-insecure families. There are also many virtual volunteer opportunities you can do from your computer. If there is a population near and dear to your heart, find a charity that serves them and call and ask how you can help.
Make blessing bags.
There are people who find themselves living on the street or in a desperate situation. Carry a ziplock bag of goodies in your car to hand to those you see looking for help. Include things like: a bar of soap, shampoo, toothpaste, toothbrush, dental floss, lotion, comb, tissues, hand sanitizer, handwipes, socks, snacks (bars, nuts, trail mix, peanut butter crackers), smaller zip-lock baggie of quarters (for laundry), first aid kit, wash cloth, chap stick, grocery store gift card. You may want to have bottled water in your car too to give. Write a card/note of encouragement and include that in your blessing bag.
Shop local and share on social media.
Give thanks to the shops in your neighborhood that have toughed it through this year and buy local this holiday season. Take a moment to write a positive review on what you love most about them on social media to show your support.
According to the American Red Cross, someone in the United States needs blood every two seconds. There has been a shortage of donors this year. If you are in good health, show your thanks by paying it forward and donating blood for those in need.
For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him might not perish but might have everlasting life. John 3:16